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Sentence Correction Notes TOC

Parallelism......................................................................................................................2
Active vs. Passive Voice....................................................................................................2
That vs. Which................................................................................................................3
No vs. Not......................................................................................................................4
Usage of One...............................................................................................................5
Between vs. Among/ er vs. est forms/ more vs. most.....................................................6
One or other vs. One or another........................................................................................6
Whether vs. If.................................................................................................................7
Use of Being in GMAT....................................................................................................7
Like vs. As......................................................................................................................8
Like vs. Such As..............................................................................................................8
Participle & Participial Phrases...........................................................................................9
Subjunctive Mood............................................................................................................9
Should vs. Would...........................................................................................................10
Infinitives & Split Infinitive..............................................................................................10
Compare with vs. Compare to.........................................................................................11
Although, Though, Even though, Despite, In spite of..........................................................11
Count Vs Non count.......................................................................................................12
Objective case of Pronouns.............................................................................................13
Who vs. Whom..............................................................................................................13
Singular Pronouns & Collective Nouns..............................................................................14
What (Singular or Plural?)..............................................................................................14
Because vs. Due to........................................................................................................15
Redundant Phrases........................................................................................................15
Other...........................................................................................................................15
Idiomatic......................................................................................................................21
Unidiomatic..................................................................................................................21
Subject/ Verb Inversion..................................................................................................24

GR SC Notes

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Sentence Correction Notes


Parallelism
Phrases or clauses must be parallel in form when they are in a series or when they are joined
by a conjunction. i.e. If there is one verb with ing or with a who-clause, then all of the verbs
must have ing or must be in the form of a who-clause.
If there is a comparison, use the comparison words as a hint for parallel construction.
Incorrect: The police came to arrest Jones, a devout church-goer who also belongs to the
fraternal order of the eagles.
Correct: The police came to arrest Jones, a devout church-goer and a member of the fraternal
order of the eagles.
First sentence matches an appositive a devout church-goer with a who-clause.
Also maintain parallelism with correlative conjunctions such as: either/ or, neither/ nor and not
only/ but also.
1. In a series of two or more elements, what you do on #2 determines what you do on 3+. In
other words, everything after #2 must match #2:
I like to swim, to run, and to dance.
I like to swim, run, and dance.
are okay.
I like to swim, run, and to dance.
I like to swim, to run, and dance.
are NOT okay.
http://www.sentencecorrection.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=80
2. Two gerunds + noun is okay
Ex: He liked sailing, swimming and girls.
But two infinitives + noun is NOT okay
Ex: He liked to sail, to swim and girls.
We live in a world in which crime is rampant, children are recalcitrant, change is the only
constant, and uncertainty prevails.
(A) children are recalcitrant, change is the only constant, and uncertainty prevails.
(B) children are recalcitrant, change is the only constant, and uncertainty is prevalent.
(C) in which children are recalcitrant, in which change is the only constant, and in which
uncertainty is prevalent.
(D) where children are recalcitrant, where change is the only constant and where uncertainty is
prevalent.
(E) where children are recalcitrant, change is the only constant, and uncertainty is prevalent
OA is C
What is wrong with B?
"in which" is part of a prepositional phrase. If we start the parallelism after "in which" we are
using parallel fragments. Also without in which the subsequent phrases seem to modify the
noun crime as opposed to world.

Active vs. Passive Voice


Active voice is preferred over passive voice. In active voice, the subject performs the action of
the verb.
Ex: I wrote a song
GR SC Notes

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In passive voice, the subject receives the action expressed by the verb. Normally, passive voice
is formed with some form of the verb be and the past participle (a verb that usually ends with
ed or en).
Ex: A song was written by me.
Passive is acceptable if it is used to maintain focus and permit the correction of a
non-grammatical sentence.
Ex: Trying to find a parking space, they were accosted by a vagrant.

That vs. Which


1. A testmagic tip: GMAT almost always (I say almost always because I've seen two questions
that did not follow this rule, but the rule was violated in all five answer choices) wants you
to put a comma before which. In other words, if you see which without a comma before
it, it's probably wrong.
If the person you're talking to, or the person who's reading what you've written, needs that
extra bit of information to know which noun you're referring to, we say that that extra
information is non-restrictive. This word doesn't really describe the function clearly, so
many teachers say that this information is extra."
On the other hand, if you need that information to know which noun you are talking about,
we say that the information is restrictive. Again, this word is not really a good choice for
clarity, and many teachers use the term "necessary information" instead
We need a comma before non-restrictive clauses and phrases but it is not needed
before restrictive clauses and phrases.
Both the sentences below are correct according to GMAT, but have different meanings.
Please go into the room and get me the big book, which is mine. (Ex: of non-restrictive)
Please go into the room and get me the big book that is mine. (Ex: of restrictive)
http://www.sentencecorrection.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=150
2. That almost always refers to a restrictive clause or phrase and which to a nonessential phrase.
Ex: The bananas that I left on the table have gone bad.
Bananas, which are high in potassium, are considered ideal for dieting.
3. Also, the relative pronoun which should be used to refer to a noun and not an idea or
an action presented in an entire clause. (Ex: Q.49, Q.78 from OG)
Q.78: The root systems of the most flowering perennials either become too crowded, which
results in loss of vigor, and spread too far outward, producing a bare center. -> Use of
which is incorrect.
4. Omitting that
You can omit that in a relative clause when the subject of the clause is different from
the word or phrase the clause refers to. Thus, you can say either
The book that I was reading (or)
The book I was reading

You can also omit that when it introduces a subordinate clause


Ex: I think we should try again.

You should NOT omit that, however, when the subordinate clause begins with an
adverbial phrase or anything other than the subject:
Ex: She said that under no circumstances would she allow us to skip the meeting.

GR SC Notes

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The book argues that eventually the housing supply will increase.
This last sentence would be ambiguous if that were omitted, since the adverb eventually
could then be construed as modifying either argues or will increase.
http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/062.html

No vs. Not
No is a determiner expressing quantity like 'all', 'every', 'many', 'some', 'any', 'each', 'either',
'one', 'another' and is used before singular and plural nouns. It is similar in meaning to 'not a'
or 'not any' and is often our preferred choice if we want to give emphasis to what we are
saying. Compare:
I have no idea what he is referring to. (more emphatic)
I don't have any idea what he is referring to. (less emphatic)
No students from the secondary school in New Town achieved the highest grades in their
end-of-year exam. (more emphatic)
There weren't any students from the secondary school in New Town who achieved the
highest grades in their end-of-year exam. (less emphatic)
I'm sorry. I've got no time for that this afternoon. (more emphatic)
I'm sorry. I haven't any time for that this afternoon. (less emphatic)
Not is used to make a clause or sentence negative and usually combines with the verb 'to be'
and with adjectives, adverbs, noun groups or prepositional phrases. Very is often used after
not to moderate the negative aspect of the clause. Thus, we have:
It was not difficult to understand why she was in love with him.
It is not always true that people who are in love like the same things.
He swims well, but not very evenly.
It was not a huge meal, but enough for two people.
I know I'll probably fail my driving test, but I'm not in the least bit nervous about it.
'Good' is probably unique as an adjective in that it can combine with no and any and also with
not, although there are sometimes subtle distinctions in usage or meaning. Compare:
'Is the milk good?' 'No, it's not good.' (The discussion here is about how fresh the milk
is and not for me would be the preferred negative)
'Was the play any good?' 'It was no good at all. The acting was poor and the direction
was terrible.' (Here, no good in the answer reflects any good in the question.)
'It's no good. I can't see how we can repair this fence. We shall have to buy a new one. (Here,
'It's no good' could be replaced by 'It's no use'.)
Note that good, like use or point is often used with -ing:
'It's no good trying to apologise. You have really offended me.'
'It's no use complaining about the service in this hotel. It will never improve.'
'There was no point (in) carrying on with this. We decided to end the investigation.
Remember to use 'there's' with 'no point' and 'it's' with 'no good/no use'.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv44.shtml
Freedmans survey showed that people living in small towns and rural areas consider
themselves no happier than do people living in big cities.
(A) no happier than do people living
(B) not any happier than do people living
(C) not any happier than do people who live
GR SC Notes

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(D) no happier than are people who are living


(E) not as happy as are people who live
OA is A

Usage of One
As a determiner, the word one is sometimes used before a proper noun to designate,
particularly, this person: "He delivered the package to one Ronald Pepin of Colchester." The
article "a" will also function in that position for the same purpose.
Sometimes we use the word one as an adjective, as in "I'll have just one scoop of icecream," and we seldom have trouble with that usage. But we also use one as a pronoun, and
this is where one becomes surprisingly complex.
Sometimes the pronoun one functions as a numerical expression:
Those are lovely scarves. I think I'll buy one.
The three brothers get along quite well; in fact they adore one another.
One of the senators will lead the group to the front of the capitol.
As a pronoun, one can also function in an impersonal, objective manner
The young comedian was awful; one felt embarrassed for him.
If one fails, then one must try harder next time.
Oneself is used in formal writing and speech as the proper reflexive form of one:
If one slipped on this icy walk, one could hurt oneself badly.
Notice there is usually no apostrophe used in the spelling of oneself. The construction one's self
is used to refer to the concept of self.
The phrases "one in [plural number]" and "more than one" always take a singular
verb:
One in four dentists recommends this toothpaste.
One out of every five instructors gets this question wrong.
There is more than one reason for this.
More than one lad has lost his heart to this lass.
The "one" in the phrase "more than one" apparently controls the number of the verb.
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/one.htm
one or more: Constructions using one or more or one or two always take a plural verb:
One or more cars were parked in front of the house each day this week.
One or two students from our department have won prizes.
Note that when followed by a fraction, one ordinarily gets a plural verb:
One and a half years have passed since I last saw her.
The fraction rule has an exception in that amounts are sometimes treated as singular
entities:
One and a half cups is enough sugar.
A year and a half has passed since I last saw her
Note also that the plural rule does not apply to these one-plus-a-fraction constructions that are
introduced by the indefinite article (a or an) in the 2nd example above.

GR SC Notes

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one of those who: Singular or plural verb? It is a matter of which word you feel is most
appropriate as the antecedent of the relative pronounone or the plural noun in the of
phrase that follows it.
Note also that when the phrase containing one is introduced by the definite article,
the verb in the relative clause must be singular:
He is the only one of the students who has already taken Latin.
http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/043.html

Between vs. Among/ er vs. est forms/ more vs. most


If a sentence compares two items use between or the er form, but if it compares more than
two use among or est form.
Adjectives and adverbs with three or more syllables require comparison with more and most.
Thos with two syllables can require either er/ -est or more/most.
Ex: easy, easier, and easiest
But, ready, more ready and most ready
When in doubt pick the more/most form.
Incorrect: Could you drive slower?
Correct: Could you please drive more slowly?
NOTE: Avoid amongst in GMAT.

One or other vs. One or another


one or other - means between first or second that is out of two choices
one or another - between multiple choices not restricted to two
Generally, "the other" means "the second one." In other words, we can only use "the other
one" when we are talking about only two things, such as our eyes, feet, ears, hands, or legs.
Ex: I have two sisters. One is a doctor, and the other one is an artist. - TestMagic Erin
If the claims of coastal nations to 200-mile territorial seas were accepted on a worldwide basis,
more than thirty per cent of the worlds ocean area would come under the jurisdiction of one or
other national states.
(A) one or other national states
(B) one or another national state
(C) one or the other national state
(D) some or another of the national states
(E) each and every national state
OA is B
The three plays in Preston Joness A Texas Trilogy are completely independent, and each has
only a peripheral relationship with the other.
(A) independent, and each has only a peripheral relationship with the other
(B) independent, and each has only a peripheral relationship one with another
(C) independent, and they have only a peripheral relationship with the others
GR SC Notes

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(D) independent and have only a peripheral relationship with one another
(E) independent and have only a peripheral relationship each with the other
OA is D

Whether vs. If
On the GMAT, whether is more preferred than if
Whether is used when there are alternative choices.
Ex: I dont know whether I will take the GMAT this month (or not).
Incorrect: Her client didnt tell her if he had sent his payment yet.
Correct: Her client didnt tell her whether he had sent his payment yet.
IF is used in a conditional sense.
Ex: If you prepare well you will get a good score.

Use of Being in GMAT


In GMAT, being in an answer choice is wrong more often than it is right.
Order pf preference: being < since < because

There are a few exceptions to the being rule in which being is often the right answer.
Examples when being is correct:
1. Some idioms allow only one structure: Most often, ideas can be expressed in more than
one way. For example, I can say
I'm afraid of being late. (or)
I'm afraid that I'll be late.
Each has its own emphasis, but the point is that these two structures exist. When there is NO
other alternative like idioms than usage of being is ok.
But, the idiomatic structure in addition to does not have a counterpart that uses a subject and
a verb, so our only option here is to use being, which is grammatically a noun, but is derived
from a verb.
In addition to being one of the first restaurants to combine Mediterranean and American
tastes, Chez Panisse in Berkeley is also one of the Bay Area's most established restaurants.
2. In the case of an absolute phrase (with + noun + noun complement)
In the example below with increased career prospects being the most important for many MBA
applicants is an absolute phrase.

There are many reasons to get an MBA, with increased career prospects being the most
important for many MBA applicants.
http://www.sentencecorrection.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=323
Note:
Noun Complement: A word or phrase that could logically and grammatically complete this pattern:
NOUN + LINKING VERB + NOUN COMPLEMENT
Ex: She is a friend. -> "friend" is a noun complement. In this case, we can see that a noun can be a noun
complement.

Absolute Phrase: A modifier (quite often a PARTICIPLE), or a modifier and a few other words,
that attaches to a sentence or a noun, with NO conjunction. An absolute phrase cannot
contain a FINITE VERB.
GR SC Notes
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Ex: 1) The train running late, we decided to get off at the next stop and take a taxi home.
2) All things being equal, the active voice tends to be correct more often than the passive.
http://www.testmagic.com/grammar/explanations/phrases/absolute-phrases-introduction.asp
The nurses went on strike to protest their being overworked
(A) their being overworked
(B) themselves being overworked
(C) themselves as overworked
(D) their overworking
(E) overworking themselves
OA is A
More discussion at http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=12843

Like vs. As
Like is used to compare nouns.
As is used to compare actions.
In Turkey, coffee is traditionally drunk very strong, much as the french do.
A) much as the French do
B) much like the French do
C) much as it is by the French
D) much as it is in France
E) much like it is in France
OA is D
The comparison is between two countries Turkey and France, so the choice is now D or E.
The focus of the sentence is on the action (of drinking), so it should be "as" and not "like".

Like vs. Such As


like means similar to, and such as means for example.
Can you buy me some fruit like oranges or grapefruit?
This sentence would mean that you do NOT want oranges or grapefruit; instead, you'd prefer
some fruit similar to oranges and grapefruit. For example, you may want pomelo, lemons, or
limes.
Can you buy me some fruit such as oranges or grapefruit?
Oranges and grapefruit are examples of the type of fruit we want.
As business grows more complex, students majoring in specialized areas like those of finance
and marketing have been becoming increasingly successful in the job market.
a) majoring in specialized areas like those of finance and marketing have been becoming
increasingly
b) who major in such specialized areas as finance and marketing are becoming more and more
c) who majored in specialized areas such as those of finance and marketing are being
increasingly
d) who major in specialized areas like those of finance and marketing have been becoming
more and more
e) having majored in such specialized areas as finance and marketing are being increasingly
OA is B (OG 223)
GR SC Notes

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Note: Such is also preferable to these for presenting examples or instances.

Participle & Participial Phrases


Participle: A verb used as an adjective. There are two kinds of participles. The past participle
has the past form of the verb which would go with the verb have and would usually end in -ed.
The present participle ends in -ing.
Participial phrase: It consists of participle plus modifier(s), object(s), and/or complement(s).
Astronomers have theorized that the Big Bang governs the behavior of interstellar dust,
particles that comprise the atoms and molecules created in the progenitive explosion and
persisting in even the emptiest regions of space
A. persisting
B. persists
C. persisted
D. they persist
E. are persisting
OA is A
This sentence basically has two participial phrases:
1. created in the progenitive explosion
2. persisting in even the emptiest regions of space.
Both modifying "atoms and molecules"
So, you can maintain parallelism only by using the two participles "created" (past participle)
and "persisting" (present participle).
More detailed explanation at http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=12830

Subjunctive Mood
The subjunctive mood is used in dependent clauses that do the following:
1. express a wish, mostly followed by were
She wishes her boyfriend were here.
2. begin with if and express a condition that does not exist (is contrary to fact)
If Juan were more aggressive, he'd be a better hockey player.
If she were coming, she would be here by now.
If I were you, I would not go there.
3. begin with as if and as though when such clauses describe a speculation or condition
contrary to fact
He acted as if he were guilty.
4. begin with that and express a demand, requirement, request, or suggestion.(OG
Q.145) and second verb is in infinitive form
I requested that he be present at the hearing.
I insist that the chairman resign!
Their main demand was that the lawsuit be dropped
If clauses: According to traditional rules, you use the subjunctive to describe an
occurrence that you have presupposed to be contrary to fact. The verb in the main
clause of these sentences must then contain the verb would or (less frequently) should:
If I were ten years younger, I would consider entering the marathon.
GR SC Notes

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If America were still a British colony, we would all be drinking tea in the afternoon.

When the situation described by the if clause is NOT presupposed to be false, however,
that clause must contain an indicative verb. The form of verb in the main clause will depend
on your intended meaning:
If Hamlet was really written by Marlowe, as many have argued, then we have
underestimated Marlowes genius.
If Kevin was out all day, then it makes sense that he couldnt answer the phone.
Note: Remember, just because the modal verb would appears in the main clause, this doesnt
mean that the verb in the if clause must be in the subjunctive if the content of that clause is
not presupposed to be false:
If I was (not were) to accept their offer-which Im still considering-I would have to start
tomorrow.
He would always call her from the office if he was (not were) going to be late for dinner.
Another traditional rule states that you are not supposed to use the subjunctive following verbs
such as ask or wonder in if clauses that express indirect questions, even if the content of the
question is presumed to be contrary to fact: We wondered if dinner was (not were) included in
the room price. Some of the people we met even asked us if California was (not were) an
island.
http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/061.html
Note: Do NOT use should in Subjunctive mood.

Should vs. Would


The two verbs are not always interchangeable. You can use either should or would in the
first person to express the future from the point of view of the past. The same principle
applies to the verb in sentences that express a future condition.
He swore that I should (or would) pay for the remark.
If I had known that, I would (or more formally, should) have answered differently.
In the second and third persons, however, you only use would:
She assured us that she would (not should) return.
If he had known that, he would (not should) have answered differently.
Only should is correct: To express duty or obligation, you use should as the equivalent of
ought to: I (or you or he) should go.
Only would is correct: You use would (and not should) to express willingness or promise
(I agreed that I would do it) and to express habitual action in the past (We would walk along
the canal at night). Would also has the advantage of being a polite substitute for will in
requests: Would you lend me a dollar?
http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/057.html#SHOULD

Infinitives & Split Infinitive


Infinitive: the root of a verb plus the word to. To sleep, perchance to dream.
The present infinitive describes a present condition: "I like to sleep."
The perfect infinitive describes a time earlier than that of the verb: "I would like to have won
that game."

GR SC Notes
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Split Infinitive: An infinitive is said to be "split" when a word (often an adverb) or phrase
sneaks between the to of the infinitive and the root of the verb: "to boldly go,"
Split infinitive is not considered acceptable in standard American English.
If present metal prices continue to sharply rise, the value of the copper in a penny will soon be
greater than the face value of the coin.
a. If present metal prices continue to sharply rise,
b. If present metal prices are continuing their sharp rise,
c. Should present metal prices continue their sharp rise,
d. Continuation of sharply rising metal prices should mean that
e. Metal prices sharp rise continuing should mean that
OA is C
Whats wrong with A?
A uses split infinitive, if A had said to rise sharply it would have been acceptable.

Compare with vs. Compare to


Rule 1: Compare to compares unlike things, whereas compare with compares like things.
Rule 2: Compare to is used to stress the resemblance. Compare with can be used to
show either similarity or difference but is usually used to stress the difference.
Compare with: To evaluate things relative to each other; for example, I'm thinking of buying
either a Honda Accord or a Toyota Camry, so I'm comparing each with the other, trying to
figure out which to buy. This meaning is much more common.
Compare takes with when it refers to the act of examining two like things in order to discern
their similarities or differences:
The police compared the forged signature with the original.
The committee will have to compare the Senate's version of the bill with the version that
was passed by the House.
Compare to: To say that one thing is like another thing, often to try to explain what one is like,
but sometimes as an insult; for example, My friend didn't know what a pomelo was, so I
compared it to a grapefruit. Then she was able to understand what it was. or My friend got
mad at the way I handled her bags, so she compared me to a gorilla. This meaning is less
common.
Compare usually takes the preposition to when it refers to the activity of describing the
resemblances between unlike things:
He compared her to a summer day.
Scientists sometimes compare the human brain to a computer.

Although, Though, Even though, Despite, In spite of


Although, though and even though are all conjunctions, whilst in spite of and despite are
both prepositions. So usage requires:
although + clause
though + clause
even though + clause
despite + noun
GR SC Notes
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in spite of + noun
Although and though can be used in the same way. Though is perhaps more common in
informal speech and writing, whereas although can be used in a wide variety of styles.
Our new neighbors are quite nice, though their dog is a bit of a nuisance.
She insisted on keeping her coat on, although it was extremely warm in the house as the
central heating was on.
Although she was commended for completing the Millennium Dome project on time and
within budget, management felt that it was now time for a new person with different talents
to take over.
Even though: Though is often used with even in order to give emphasis:
I managed to get good results in my exams, even though I went out four times a week
when I was supposed to be revising.
Despite might be thought more formal than in spite of but there is really very little difference
in usage between the two:
Despite the appalling weather, they succeeded in walking to the top of Ben Nevis.
They decided to get married in spite of the huge differences in their ages.
Despite and in spite of are normally used as prepositions, they can also be used in adverbial
constructions with -ing, thus:
I managed to pass my exams, despite going out four times a week during the revision
period.
In spite of feeling terribly sick, I went to work every day that week.
Despite being severely handicapped, he managed to complete the race.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv41.shtml

Count Vs Non count


Concrete things such as tables, students, bottle, person etc are count nouns.
While others which refer to abstract ideas such as air, beauty, money, water, furniture,
information, soap etc are non-count nouns. Non-count nouns do not usually pluralize. For
instance while plural of bottle is bottles, there is no plural of water.
To quantify these words different words are used for count and non-count nouns.

If there were fewer cars on the road, there would be less traffic.
The number of cars on the road contributes to the amount of traffic.
Theres too much traffic on this road because there are too many cars.

Countable: number, few, fewer, many, majority, several


Not countable: amount or quantity, little, less, much, any, a lot of
Exception: When referring to time or money, less is often used even with numbers. Specific
units of time or money use fewer only in cases where individual items are referred to.
Non count nouns generally take singular verbs and count nouns take singular or plural
depending on the number.
Ex: Most people are; Most of the water is
Percentages and fractions take plural verb if referring to count nouns. Exception to this would if
the percentage or fraction results in a single quantity.
A quarter of my homework remains to be done.
GR SC Notes
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Two thirds of the students were familiar with the question.

Objective case of Pronouns


There is no objective form for you and it
Subjective
I
He/ She
We
They
Who
Objective
Me
Him/ Her
Us
Them
Whom
Possessive
My
His/ Her
Our
Their
Whose
Predicative
Mine
His/ hers
Ours
Theirs
Whose
Rule 1: Objective forms of pronouns are used after prepositions such as: to, at, in, of,
between, among, over etc.
Incorrect: The cops had nothing on Chris and I.
Correct: The cops had nothing on Chris and me.
Incorrect: The English, among who are some fine musicians, cannot write opera.
Correct: The English, among whom are some fine musicians, cannot write opera.
Rule 2: Objective forms of pronouns are usually used after verbs.
Incorrect: The cops liked Chris and I
Correct: The cops liked Chris and me.
Incorrect: The Smiths believe both they and their story.
Correct: The Smiths believe both them and their story.
Test: The sentence should make sense if you removed the conjunction either pronoun. Ex:
The cops had nothing on me makes more sense than The cops had nothing on I.
Exception to Rule 2: The exception to this rule is verb be.
Incorrect: It is me/ Its me
Correct: It is I/ Its I
Incorrect: They need the quarterback to be him who has a cool head and a strong throwing
arm.
Correct: They need the quarterback to be he who has a cool head and a strong throwing arm.
Note: Its is contraction of it + is. Its is the possessive of it. Never use it to replace a
complete idea, clause or a phrase.

Who vs. Whom


Use "who" when someone is the SUBJECT of a sentence, clause, or phrase.
Ex: Who called the meeting?
Use "whom" when someone is the OBJECT of a verb or preposition.
Ex: Whom did you invite to the meeting?
Note: Try the question test. If you answer the question with he or they pick who if you
answer the question with him or them pick whom.
Presenters at the seminar, one who is blind, will
demonstrate adaptive equipment that allows visually impaired people to use computers.
GR SC Notes
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- 13

(A) one who


(B) one of them who
(C) and one of them who
(D) one of whom
(E) one of which
OA is D
In this statement, you are trying to say one of the presenters is blind. (ie: one of them is blind)
When in doubt substitute the whom with them or they.

Singular Pronouns & Collective Nouns


No one
Someone
Everyone
Anyone
None
Another
The number

Nobody
Somebody
Everybody
Anybody
Each
Either
Neither

Nothing
Something
Everything
Anything
Any
Every

Collective noun examples: Family, School, Committee


Singular pronouns should always be followed by singular verbs. For collective nouns, use a
singular verb if you want to stress the group as a whole and use plural verb if you want to
emphasize the individual units in the group.

What (Singular or Plural?)


When what is the subject of a clause, it may either take a singular or plural verb.
What is singular when taken as the equivalent of that which or the thing which:
I see what seems to be a dead tree.
What is plural when taken as the equivalent of those which or the things which:
He sometimes makes what seem to be thoughtless mistakes.
When a clause that has what as its subject is itself the subject of a sentence, it may take a
singular or plural verb. Most of these what clauses are singular, In fact, what clauses are usually
singular even when the verb is a linking verb, such as be or seem, followed by a plural noun or
a series of nouns:
What she kept in her drawer was ten silver dollars.
What truly commands respect is a large air force and a resolute foreign policy.
In some cases, you can treat a clause with what as the subject as singular or plural, depending
on the emphasis you want to convey. In What excite him most are money and power, the
implication is that money and power are distinct elements; in What excites him most is money
and power, the implication is that money and power are a single entity.
The what clause as a whole is plural if it has a plural verb:
What seem to be two dead trees are blocking the road.
http://www.bartleby.com/64/C001/072.html
The period when the great painted caves at Lascaux and Altamira were occupied by Upper
Paleolithic people has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to
determine are the reason for their decoration, the use to which primitive people put the caves,
and the meaning of the magnificiently depicted animals.
GR SC Notes
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- 14

a) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
b) has been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is
c) have been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine is
d) have been established by carbon-14 dating, but what is much more difficult to determine are
e) are established by carbon-14 dating, but that which is much more difficult to determine is
OA is B.
Why is and not are?
To simplify the rule here: To figure out whether the verb is singular or plural, we look to the
left, not to the right.
Noun clauses are generally singular (can't think of any exceptions, but I seem to recall one
sometime in the past), so we'd use a singular verb when the noun clause is the subject. For
example:
What I need is many people to help me move.
Of course, many native speakers will say something like this:
What I need are many people to help me move.
But again, it's the subject, not the object that determines the number of the verb.
http://www.sentencecorrection.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=369

Because vs. Due to


Because is used as an adverb while, Due to is used as an adjective. Try to substitute with
caused by if it works then Due to is the right usage.
The events postponement was due to rain
The event was postponed because of rain.
Possible structures: Due to + Noun Phrase and Due to the fact that + Main Clause, and
Because + Main Clause and Because of + Noun Phrase.
NOTE: Since is less preferred than because.

Redundant Phrases
Eliminate any choices with redundant phrases. Some examples
1. reasonbecause
2. co-operatetogether
3. free gift
4. consensus of opinion
5. retrospectiverefers back
6. few in number
7. grouped together
8. end result
9. new initiative
10. serious crises
11. ultimate conclusion
12. deliberately chose
13. at least as many as
14. bothas well as

GR SC Notes
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- 15

Other
1. The doctrinal dispute resulted in the dismissal of the president of the seminary, who was
charged with teaching false doctrine and with administrative misconduct.
(A) charged with teaching false doctrine and with administrative misconduct
(B) charged with teaching false doctrine and administrative misconduct
(C) being charged that he taught false doctrine and administrative misconduct
(D) charged with both false doctrine teaching and administrative misconduct
(E) teaching false doctrine and administrative misconduct as charged
OA: A
Why is OA A, and not D or B?
In D: The key here is to notice that doctrine is the object of teaching and should therefore be
kept as the object, not as an adjective (or, as we sometimes say, "in attribution").
In other words, we should follow this pattern: PREP + GERUND + OBJECT OF GERUND
Of course a good example will make this rule clearer. Consider the following sentences:
The woman was fired for buying junk.
or
The woman was fired for junk buying.
Here are two more:
After eating lunch, I felt sleepy.
or
After lunch eating, I felt sleepy.
In B: if we don't use with, we would have ambiguity about whether misconduct was parallel
with teaching or with doctrine. In other words, it sounds like the president was teaching
administrative misconduct!!
2. The legislature seems to talk at great length about reform but to do almost nothing to
achieve that.
(A) to do almost nothing to achieve that
(B) to do almost nothing achieving such
(C) to do almost nothing to achieve It
(D) doing almost nothing in achieving any
(E) doing almost nothing to achieve that
OA is C
Well, the grammatical explanation for why it is (C) is quite simple--that is what we call a
demonstrative, which means that it is used to show which one, kind of like pointing at
something, saying that one.
it is a simple pronoun--it simply replaces a singular noun that came before. So, if you're not
pointing out a noun, you should use it.
3. Unlike modern feminism, which derives much of its strength from rejection of an oppressive
home, Marietta Holley in her novels made domesticity the basis of womens liberation.
(A) Unlike modern feminism, which derives much of its strength from rejection of an oppressive
home, Marietta Holley in her novels
(B) Unlike the modern feminist who derives much of her strength from rejection of an
oppressive home, Marietta Holley s novels
GR SC Notes
- 16
-

(C) Unlike modern feminism, deriving much of its strength from rejection of an oppressive
home, Marietta Holleys novels
(D) Unlike those of the modern feminist who derives much of her strength from rejection
of an oppressive home, novels of Marietta Holley
(E) Unlike those of modern feminism, which derive much of their strength from rejection of an
oppressive home, Marietta Holley s novels
OA is E
Whats wrong with D?
D is almost correct, but it does have a couple of errors. One of the easiest to point out is the
missing determiner the required for the phrase novels of Marietta Holley.
However, there are still a couple other things to pay attention too, things that are actually more
important if you're shooting for 700+.
Compare the following two phrases:
who derives much of her strength from rejection of an oppressive home
which derive much of their strength from rejection of an oppressive home
In the first clause: who derives much of her strength from rejection of an oppressive home we
are saying that the modern feminist gains strength.
In second clause: which derive much of their strength from rejection of an oppressive home
we are saying that the novels gain strength.
We know what's referring to what because of the relative pronouns and the form of the verb.
We know that we should be talking about the novels and "the feminist," because the latter part
of the sentence shows the contrast--Holley's novels (not "the feminist").
Finally, if we do indeed want to talk about feminism, then it would be better to do so by
referring directly to feminism, and not to the feminist (to represent all of feminism).
4. Twenty-two feet long and 10 feet in diameter, the AM-1 is one of the many new satellites
that is a part of 15 years effort of subjecting the interactions of Earths atmosphere, oceans,
and land surfaces to detailed scrutiny from space.
(A) satellites that is a part of 15 years effort of subjecting the interactions of Earths
atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces
(B) satellites, which is a part of a 15-year effort to subject how Earths atmosphere, oceans,
and land surfaces interact
(C) satellites, part of 15 years effort of subjecting how Earths atmosphere, oceans, and land
surfaces are interacting
(D) satellites that are part of an effort for 15 years that has subjected the interactions of Earths
atmosphere, oceans, and land surfaces
(E) satellites that are part of a 15-year effort to subject the interactions of Earths atmosphere,
ocean, and land surfaces
OA is E
Why not B?
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?p=75641#75641
5. The computer software being designed for a project studying Native American assess to
higher education will not only meet the needs of that study, but also has the versatility and
power of facilitating similar research endeavors.
GR SC Notes
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- 17

(A) but also has the versatility and power of facilitating


(B) but also have the versatility and power to facilitate
(C) but it also has the versatility and power to facilitate
(D) and also have the versatility and power of facilitating
(E) and it also has such versatility and power that it can facilitate
OA is B
Why not A?
Here the parallel construction with not onlybut also compares will meet" with "will have"
"He meets" || with "he has". So, here software needs the plural have.
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=13114
6. City Planners in Detroit hope that the renewal project extending along the eastern riverfront
will establish a population that lives and works downtown and also provides the office
space needed to attract new businesses.
A) that lives and works downtown and also provides
B) to live and work downtown and also provide
C) that lives as well as works downtown and also provide
D) which lives as well as works downtown and also provides
E) who live as well as work downtown and also provides
OA is C
Why not A?
In A, D and E the "provides" implies that the population provides the office space while it should
be the "city planners".
So, the parallel construction is with "will establish" and "will provide".
http://www.gmatclub.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=13114
http://www.testmagic.com/forums/showthread.php?mode=hybrid&t=13204
7. The Immigration Service now has the discretionary power to keep families united even
though all their members do not meet the five-year residency requirement.
(A) all their members do not meet the five-year residency requirement
(B) not all their members meet the five-year residency requirement
(C) all their members have not met the requirement for a five-year residency
(D) not all their members have resided for five years, a requirement
(E) all their members have not resided for five years, as required
OA is B
Why not A?
It is implied with "keep families together" that only some of the members do not meet the
requirements.
Only answers B and D make that distinction. The others suggest that the whole family members
do not meet the requirements (in that case they could all be deported together and the family
would still be united right?).
8. Art historians are using a process known as infrared scanning in analyzing the Mona Lisa to
determine if it has been altered since completion and if Leonardo da Vinci first sketched the
figure in black, as done by many artists of the time.
GR SC Notes
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- 18

(A) if it has been altered since completion and if Leonardo da Vinci first sketched the figure in
black, as done
(B) if it had been altered since completion and if Leonardo da Vinci first sketched the figure in
black, a practice employed
(C) whether it has been altered since completion and whether Leonardo da Vinci first sketched
the figure in black, a practice employed
(D) whether it was altered since completion and whether Leonardo da Vinci first sketched the
figure in black, as was done
(E) whether it had been altered since completion and whether Leonardo da Vinci first sketched
the figure in black, a practice done
OA is C
Why not D?
Has been altered is correct - u need present perfect with "since"
Few points:
1. Which one is better here - 'IF' or 'Whether'. Since 'IF' is not followed by a 'THEN' clause,
'Whether' is right. This means A and B are out.
2. Looking at D, we have 'whether it was done......, as was done' . 'as was done' surely is
awkward. So D is out.
3. b/w C and E..., E has 'a practice done' and C has 'a practice employed'. 'A Practice employed'
seems right. C also has 'has been' - which is right. 'had been' and 'a practice done' together
does'nt keep the tenses intact.
9. Asset allocators create portfolios, often in the form of mutual funds, with the intention to
turn in good results in both bull and bear markets.
(A) with the intention
(B) the intention of which is
(C) intended
(D) and intending
(E) so intended as
OA is C.
Why not A?
"with the intention of" is the correct idiom. A uses with the intention to.
10. Although about 99 percent of the more than 50 million Turks are Muslims, the republic
founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1923 is resolutely secular.
a) Although about 99 percent of the more than 50 million
b) Although about 99 percent of over 50 million of the
c) Although about 99 percent of more than 50 million
d) Despite the fact that about 99 percent of more than 50 million
e) Despite the fact that about 99 percent of over 50 million
OA is A
Whats the difference between A & C?
If we use "the," we are saying that there are only 50 million Turks in the whole world; if we
don't use "the," we are saying that there are possibly more than 50 million Turks in the world

GR SC Notes
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GR SC Notes
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- 20

Idiomatic

Unidiomatic

A lot

alot

Able + infinitive
Access to
Account for
Adapted to/ for/ from
Agree to(idea or proposal)/ with(people)
All of which

Of which all

Allows for
Allowto be based on

Allow thatfees be based on

Appeal to
apply to
As an instance of
As good as...or better than
as much as (as...as)
Associate with
attempt to
Attend to (someone)
Attribute to

Attribute as

Attribute x to y/x is attributed to y


Based on
Begin + infinitive
believe x to be y
better served by x than by y
between x and y
Both x and y
call ...to consider
Care about/ for
Center on

Center around

Choose + infinitive
Compare a to b
Compare a with b
Composed of
Concerned with
Conform to

Conform with

Connection between x and y

Connection of x and y

Consider (+ nothing)

Consider as

Contend that
Contrast a with b
Count on + person/thing
credit with
GR SC Notes
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- 21

debate over
Different from (compare people and things)
difficult + infinitive (to)

Different than(compare clauses-less


preferred)

Disclose to + person/organization
distinguish between x and y
distinguish x from y
Doubt that

Doubt whether

Drawn to person/thing
Dream of/about
Dwindle from
Emerges from
Essential to
estimated to be
Except for

Excepting

Fascinated by
Flee from
Focus on + thing/person
Forbid x to do y
from x to y
Get credit for/give credit for
Identical with

Identical to

In an attempt to

As attempt in

In contrast to

In contrast of

In regard to

In regards to

In spite of

Despite

Independent of

Independent from

Indicate that/ to
Indifferent towards
intend to
intent on
Invest in

Invest into/ for

Leads to
Less on x than on y
liken x to y

liken to be

method of..

method to

Mistook x for y

Mistookto

more ...than ever


native of
native to

Native in

Need for/ to
no less ...than
Not only but also
GR SC Notes
-

not only and also


- 22

Not so muchas
ordered y to do z
Originate in
Potential to
Prohibits x from doing y
Promise of + thing
Promise to
range from x to y
rates for

"rates of" when rates=> "prices charged"

Refer to
regard as
Regardless

Irregardless

require + thing/person + infinitive

require of x to y

Responsible for
Responsibility to
Result/Resulting in
Results from
Sacrifice x for y
same to x as to y
Save for
Save from
Seek to/thing/person
seem + infinitive
So infrequently that
so x as to y
speak to/ with
state ...that
Subscribe to
Such...as
Take advantage of
Targeted at

Targeted to

Think of x as y

Think of x to be y

Try to

Try and

use ...as

using x to be y

Used + infinitive
With the intention of
you had better do it

GR SC Notes
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- 23

Subject/ Verb Inversion


http://www.sentencecorrection.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=167
There are at least eighteen types of inversion:
Type

Examples

Never do I sleep.

Notes

Question form is obligatory.

1. neg intro

Used with all verbs.


Only at night can I study.

This one is very common on the TOEFL and


somewhat common on the GMAT and GRE.
In no way could I help you with your
Japanese grammar question.
We need to learn the various types of
words and phrases that require this type of
I believe that only rarely will I need

inversion.

your help.

Notice that sometimes the inversion occurs


Not until I got home did I realize that

right after the neg intro form and

my shoes were untied.

sometimes it occurs in the next subject


and verb.

See Neg Intro for more info.

Into the room ran the lady.

Inversion is optional.

First comes love, then comes

Used with be-verbs, linking verbs, and

marriage.

verbs of direction.

After A comes B, then comes C, next

This one is less common on the TOEFL, but

2. intro adverbial

comes D.

GR SC Notes
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- 24

Type

Examples

Notes

more common on the GMAT and GRE.


Down came rain and washed the
spider out.
Notice that sometimes we have an adverb,
like first and down and sometimes we
have an adverb phrase like into the
room or after A. These adverbs and adverb
phrases usually show location or direction.

This type of inversion usually only occurs


with be-verbs, linking verbs and verbs that
show direction or movement, like
come, go, run, etc.

Found in San Francisco is Lombard


3. intro ed

Inversion is obligatory.

Street, the so-called crookedest street


in the world.
Used with be-verbs.
Lost among the old tables and chairs
was the priceless Victorian desk.
This one is very common on the TOEFL,
GMAT, and GRE.
Located between San Francisco and
Marin County is the Golden Gate
Bridge.

This type of inversion usually occurs with


be-verbs, but sometimes with linking
verbs.

Notice that the phrase is the complement


of the be-verb.

Cheetahs run faster than do


4. comparatives

GR SC Notes
-

Inversion is optional.

antelopes.

- 25

Type

Examples

Notes

You speak Chinese better than do I.

Used with all verbs.

Jessica is more interested in Computer

This form of inversion is common on the

Science than is Benjamin.

TOEFL, GMAT, and GRE.

We normally only have inversion here if we


are comparing subjects of the verb, not
objects. For example, in the following
two sentences, we are comparing objects,
carrots and potatoes, not the subject I.:

I like carrots
more than I do potatoes.

I like carrots
more than do I like potatoes.

Now, in this sentence, we are comparing


subjects, I and my friend Carl:

I like carrots
more than does my friend Carl.

Bigger than an apatosaur is


5. intro comparative

Inversion is obligatory.

the blue whale.

Used with be-verbs.


More important than
your personal statement is
your GPA.
This form is more common on the GMAT

GR SC Notes
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- 26

Type

Examples

Notes

and GRE than it is


No less impressive

on the TOEFL.

than the invention of the laser was


the development of the wheel.
Notice that we can only use this form of
inversion when
the verb is a be-verb since in every case,
the comparative
is the complement of the be-verb.

Remember that less than is also a


comparative.

Megumi is from Japan,


6. as

Inversion is obligatory.

as is Sato.

Used with all verbs.


So-eun wants to leave early today, as
does Oi.
We can only use inversion if we are using
as for comparisons.
If thrown into the water, camels can
swim, as can cats.
as is one of the trickiest words in English;
it can have many different meanings.

So happy was I that I bought flowers


7. so that

Question form is obligatory.

for everybody in class.

Used with all verbs.


So quickly did she leave
that we did not even realize was gone.
This is not so common on the TOEFL, but is

GR SC Notes
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- 27

Type

Examples

So rarely does a comet appear

Notes

fairly common on the GMAT and GRE.

visible to the naked eye that when one


does, it is considered
a major event.
The so that clause must before the verb
in for this type of inversion.

Had I remembered Tomomis birthday,


8. had, should,

Inversion is obligatory.

she wouldnt be mad at me now.

were for if-clauses


Used with all verbs.
Should you need a hand, I will be
more than happy to help you.
This is somewhat common on the TOEFL
and more common on
Were I you, I think

the GMAT and GRE.

I would study more for your exam


tomorrow.
This type of inversion is kind of special.
Notice that we can only use this type of
inversion when we are using an if-clause.
In other words, if is omitted: even though
the word if does not appear in the clause,
we still have the meaning of an
if-clause.
For more information, see had, should,
were.

There is a good restaurant


9. there is, there

Inversion is obligatory.

nearby.

are, there exists,


there comes, etc.
Usually used only with these verbs.
There comes a time in every persons
life when she realizes that she is
responsible for her own happiness, not
other people.

This form of inversion is common on the


TOEFL, GMAT, and GRE, as well as in
spoken and written English.

GR SC Notes
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- 28

Type

Examples

Notes

Scientists hypothesize that there


exists

Most people remember there is and there

a certain type of particle

are. BUT we must also remember that

that can travel faster than the speed

there are other verbs that we can use

of light.

instead of is and are. The most common


ones are exist, come, and go.

Here is some good food for you to try.

Inversion is obligatory.

Here are the books that I dont need

Usually used only with these verbs.

10. here is, here


are, here comes,
here come
anymore.

You will probably not see this on the


Here comes the bus!

grammar section of the TOEFL or on the


GMAT or GRE. It could, however, appear
on the Listening Comprehension Section of
the TOEFL. We use this form mostly in
spoken English.

Burning out of control was the forest


11. intro -ing

Inversion is obligatory.

located in the foothills of the Sierra


Nevada mountains.
Used only with be-verbs.
Coming in last in the race was Joe
Elephant Legs Blow.
This form is not common on the TOEFL,
but might show up on the GMAT or GRE.
Not helping the situation
was little Susie, who was throwing
newspaper on the spreading

Notice the intro ing phrase is the

fire.

complement of the be-verb.

Boy am I hungry.

Inversion is optional.

12. emphasis

GR SC Notes
-

- 29

Type

Examples

Notes

Is it ever hot in here!

Used with all verbs.

Do you know how to cook!

You will probably not see this on the


grammar section of the TOEFL or on the
GMAT or GRE. It could, however, appear
on the Listening Comprehension Section of
the TOEFL. We use this form mostly in
spoken English.

The closer an object is to another


13. the bigger, the

object, the greater is the gravity

better

between the two objects.

Question form is optional.

Used with all verbs.

Is this the last example?

Inversion is obligatory.

Do you enjoy reading these lists?

Used with all verbs.

Are we finished yet?

It would, however, appear on the Listening

14. questions

Comprehension section of the TOEFL. Not


for GMAT

I think its time to go, said Susan.

Inversion is optional.

Its time for you, but not for me,

Used with verbs that report speech.

15. "story speech"

replied Gary.

You will probably not see this on the

GR SC Notes
-

Maybe we should collect our thoughts

grammar section of the TOEFL or on the

for a moment, commented Lany.

GMAT or GRE.

- 30

Type

Examples

No one has volunteered for the job,


16. nor

Notes

Inversion is obligatory.

nor do we expect anyone to volunteer


in the future.
Used with all verbs.
Hok-ming cannot speak Portuguese,
nor can Jos speak Cantonese.
You might see this on the adaptive TOEFL
if you are scoring high and it could appear
on the GMAT or GRE.
The zoo regulations will not permit
you to touch the animals, nor would
most people advise you to do so.
Remember that nor is considered a
conjunction, but we use it between two
sentences (not between any two elements
like the other conjunctions).

So do I.

Inversion is obligatory.

So can Terry.

Used with all verbs.

Neither do most people I know.

You will probably not see this on the

17. "so do I"/


"neither do I."

grammar section of the TOEFL or on the


GMAT or GRE.

GR SC Notes
-

- 31

Type

Examples

Beautiful beyond belief was my baby


18. intro adjective

Notes

Inversion is obligatory in most cases.

daughter.

Used with be-verbs.


Happy about their acceptance into
their dream schools were Lany and
Tomo.
This one is fairly rare and probably would
not appear on the TOEFL, but you might
see it on the GMAT or GRE.
Quick and painless will be your
medical procedure.
Inversion is sometimes not used in poetic
language.

If present metal prices continue to sharply rise, the value of the copper in a penny will soon be
greater than the face value of the coin.
(A) If present metal prices continue to sharply rise,
(B) If present metal prices are continuing their sharp rise,
(C) Should present metal prices continue their sharp rise,
(D) Continuation of sharply rising metal prices should mean that
(E) Metal prices sharp rise continuing should mean that
OA is C (Look at Subject/Verb inversion notes, #8, had, should, were.)

GR SC Notes
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- 32